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Comanche 1800-74 [Paperback]

Douglas Meed , Jonathan Smith

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Book Description

Nov. 21 2003 Warrior (Book 75)
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the numerous tribes of mounted Comanche warriors were the "Lords of the Southern Plains". For more than 150 years, these ferocious raiders struck terror into the hearts of other plain tribes, Mexican villagers and Anglo settlers in frontier Texas. Their dominion stretched from southern Colorado and Kansas into northern Mexico. This book documents the life and experiences of a Comanche warrior at the peak of their dominance. Following a hypothetical figure through a lifetime, it covers key social and cultural aspects as well as documenting the methods and equipment that they used to wage war.

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Produced to the very high standard that Osprey books have become known for.

About the Author

Douglas V Meed is a former US infantryman and cryptanalyst with the Army Security Agency in Europe. Following degrees in Journalism and history he worked as reporter and editor with the Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Light newspapers, before being selected as Foreign Services Officer with the United States Information Agency in Europe and Asia. He has written a number of books and numerous articles for history magazines and academic journals.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
History first records the Comanches in the 17th century, when they were part of the Shoshoni tribes that roamed the mountain forests in the upper reaches of the Platte River in what is now eastern Wyoming. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good source on a brutal warrior society Dec 6 2007
By K. Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The Comanche, known as the 'Lords of the Southern Plains' to some, called themselves 'The People'. The name we most commonly know them by is a corruption of an Indian word meaning 'Our Enemy'. This book colorfully reveals that this is indeed how most of their contemporaries, Texans, Mexicans, Apaches, Americans, and Tonkawas, knew them.

One is left with mixed feelings about the Comanches after reading this book. On one end, you are left to respect, even admire this fierce, nomadic horse culture, a family-oriented people who prided themselves in their valor and strength and regarded their wives as their first priorties. On the other hand, one is left in shock and disgust at the appaling treatment they meted out to defenseless prisoners, who were more often than not women or small children.

The book gives a background on Comanche history. Though they started out carrying out raids on foot and disguising themselves to hunt buffalo, they were known even in the 17th Century for their brutality, their arrogance, and their malice towards other Indian peoples. By the time the book's imaginary hero, Spotted Pony, is born, the Comanches have become a dedicated horse culture living a life of hunting, raiding, and heroic warfare. As far as the nearby Mexicans and more placid tribes were concerned, they were just landlocked pirates, committing deeds of unnecessary and horrid savagery just for the sake of doing so (see pages 26, 31, 41 and 55 in particular).

The Comanche warrior had a versatile arsenal. In addition to a variety of firearms (many acquired from the Mexican Comancheros, with whom they had a mutually peaceful and respectful relationship), they used lances (some tipped with metal heads), short bows, and fighting knives, though they were not known for their skill with the last of these. They were known as excellent horse-archers, however, and were called the 'finest light cavalry in the world'.

As with most Amerindian peoples, the Comanches and the white men got caught up in the never ending process of raid and counter-raid, atrocity and counter-atrocity, but in the end the versatility and greed of the Anglos triumphed and the Comanches were destroyed or put on reservations. The book romantically portrays the last free years of these proud warriors, and has its hero Spotted Pony die in the climatic battle in 1874.

Overall, the book is a good source on these fierce warriors, and it is well endowed with excellent color plates. Highly recommended for those seeking a deeper understanding of the most ferocious and uncompromising of the plains peoples.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting AND entertaining study of Comanche culture Nov. 26 2004
By Fruit Loop - Published on Amazon.com
Douglas Meed provides the reader with a fascinating insight into the culture of the Numunuu, "The Lords of the Southern Plains" by following the lifetime of a fictional protagonist, Spotted Pony. We follow Spotted Pony from birth to early training, his vision quest, coming of age as a warrior, becoming a chief in his own right and finally to his tragic end in the vicious Red River War. There's only one "mistake" which is probably a typo - Comanche puha (power) is repeatedly called puta in the book, unfortunate since puta is obviously the Spanish word for prostitute. This has to be a typo because everything else is excellent. Highly recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about a way of life that was tragically ended by white greed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fits my background research March 6 2014
By Glenn Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was looking for a book to show relatively historical images for painting American Indian figures to oppose my Spanish in historical war gaming. A bit later than my main interest but very helpful.


5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 30 2014
By Brian K. Brinkman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What I expected.

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